2 December 2010
Commenting on the launch of the Warm Home Discount consultation, Mike Hobday, Head of Campaigns at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
‘We welcome the introduction of the Warm Home Discount which will help people at risk of fuel poverty to pay their fuel bills.
‘With energy prices set to rise and freezing temperatures across the country it’s more important than ever that vulnerable cancer patients are included in this new scheme.
‘One in five (19%) people with cancer turn their heating off during the winter even though they need it on. It’s unacceptable that cancer patients, who feel the cold more and spend long periods of time at home, are too scared to put the heating on because of rising fuel bills.
‘The existing voluntary scheme offered by energy providers is not working as it only helps 7% of cancer patients in fuel poverty.
‘We strongly urge the Government to ensure that vulnerable cancer patients, such as people who are terminally ill or undergoing treatment, qualify for this new mandatory scheme.’
For further information, please contact:
Rebecca Openshaw, Media &PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4699 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has today launched a consultation on a new mandatory social price support scheme called Warm Home Discount. The Warm Home Discount will obligate energy companies to provide a rebate on certain energy customer’s fuel bills. This purpose of this consultation is to seek views on how the scheme should be structured and who should benefit. The consultation will be open until 14th January 2011.
Macmillan Cancer Support/RS Consulting (2010), Fuel poverty and cancer: survey of people with cancer found:
• Certain groups of cancer patients are particularly vulnerable to fuel poverty. These include those undergoing treatment (25%) and those on certain benefit, such as, housing benefit (47%) and council tax benefit (46%). The research also highlighted that 27% of cancer patients on disability living allowance and 40% with an annual household income of under £20k are in fuel poverty
• 1 in 4 people with cancer undergoing treatment are fuel poor
• 7% of those in fuel poverty are on a social tariff
Macmillan’s online survey of 974 people with cancer in the UK (2009) found:
• Seven in ten people under 55 experience a reduced income losing on average 50% (Macmillan Cancer Support
• 59% have used more fuel since their diagnosis
According to Macmillan’s grants team 41% of people receiving a grant from Macmillan asked for help towards the cost of fuel in 2009.
About Macmillan Cancer Support
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. One in three of us will get cancer. Two million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.
For more information about Macmillan Cancer Support, visit www.macmillan.org.uk or freephone 0800 500 800 for an information pack.